The router table is a table where a router is mounted vertically below it. Today a woodworker can’t think any project without a router table. It provides so much value to him. The elevation of a router can be raised and lowered so that the bit can be changed and the depth of cuts can be adjusted. Molding profiles, rabbets, grooves, and slots can be cut by the bits which are installed in a router. You know that these sharp bits can easily injure a person without consciousness. That’s why some safety rules should be maintained and performed strictly by every carpenter to avoid unexpected accidents and injuries. Failure to follow the safety rules mentioned below can easily result in a loss of shop privileges.
Safety Rules of Using a Router Table:
Ensure the Using of Adequate Protection:
A router table is a machine using a motor which normally generates loud noise besides using the bits produce lots of wood dust and debris. A worker must need using enough ear protection and eye protection. Safety glasses which are with side shields or a complete face shield will ensure the maximum safety of your eyes and face. For hearing protection and to avoid painful loud router motor’s sound, hearing protection can be used. You also need to apply for respiratory protection as long-time inhaling wood dust will surely injure your lung. Must wear a dust mask if you get enough dust and your dust collector does not perform well. You should open the blast gate to the router and ensure the running mood of dust collector before your cuts.
Solid Fence Should Be Used:
During work with a router table, if the router table’s fence gets any movement it will surely damage your workpiece or the bit. Besides, it can be a cause of your injury. In order to get your fence movement free even in a highly pressured moment, you have to take a bombproof fence. If you have any hesitation you can use a clamp to both ends of the fence. The gap in the fence should be reduced. You need to adjust the fence halves in that way that they get a position within 1/16” to 1/8” from the router bit.
Using Featherboards is Essential:
A featherboard will ensure the profile’s smoothness during routing profiles on long pieces. Your hands will get a safe distance from the cutter because featherboars maintain push near the bit. Kickback’s possibility will also be reduced by using a featherboard.
The 3” Rule:
Placing hands within 3” of the cutting circle of a router bit is so much dangerous. You should remain that in your mind and treat in that way that your hands never reach within 3” of the cutting circle of the bit. To maintain this clearance you can use push sticks or jigs where necessary.
Using Push Sticks or Push Blocks:
A push stick or push block is safety equipment. It is used when working with power saws like table saws or band saws and stationary routers or jointers. Push sticks are of different sizes and shapes. If you allow your fingers too close to a rotating bit or blade it will be so much dangerous. But you have to reach past the rotating bit or blade to remove parts or scrap. In this circumstance, push sticks will work well keeping your hand actually fingers away from the bit. Always try to use a push stick or push block.
Adequate Perimeter Should Be Ensured:
You should keep about a three-foot perimeter around the router table. Besides, you should keep this place clear of debris and sawdust. Otherwise, debris and sawdust will spoil traction or footing which increase the possibility of slips and falls.
Avoid Removing Material Excessively Per Pass:
Though the router table is so much versatile, in one pass they can’t remove a lot of material. If you push the limits you will get kickbacks and poor quality cuts. That’s why you should make several passes. You should not use a router table with a large workpiece. You should use a hand-held router or a shaper if your large workpiece needs to have cuts. It won’t be safe if you want to cut pressure-treated or reclaimed wood with this machine. Twisted or bowed workpieces or workpieces with loose knots shouldn’t be attempted to cut.
Realizing Climb Cutting and Applying It in Right Place:
Climb Cutting is feeding a workpiece with the spinning of the router bit. On a router table, a climb cut can be extremely dangerous. A woodworker always should try to avoid climb cutting though sometimes climb cutting can be employed. Use a power feeder so that you control the workpiece during climb cutting. If the cutting depth is not 1/32” or less and your workpiece is not caught by featherboards and hold downs, you should not apply climb cuts. If you are a starter and your workpiece is hand-held, we highly prohibit you to attempt a climb cut.
You Have to Realize The Risk of Using Larger Bits:
Large bit’s rim speed is always higher than smaller bit’s even though the RPM of a smaller bit can be the same as a large bit. That’s why larger bits should be avoided. They can burn your workpieces and carry potential danger for you. If you need using larger bits then make sure one thing that you are using split fence which will eliminate the gap as larger bits need more clearance around the fence.
Router Speed Need to Be Matched to Cutter’s Diameter:
You have to match the router speed to the diameter of the cutter. You can use the full speed of the router for bits which have 1” diameter or less. Less than full speed must have to be applied for bits which are over 1” in diameter. About one-half speed should apply for pattern and cope bits or for raised panel bits.
Safety Tips for Using a Router Table:
- Always try to use a jig during cutting workpieces which are not flat on the bottom.
- Try to keep a balanced status at the router table.
- Always try to clear small cutting pieces after powering off the tool.
- Never remain with loose-fitting jewelry and clothing during work. Remove them before starting your work. Long hair should be tied back.
- Never take alcohol or any other drug during your work with a router table. You should not start your work if you are under the influence of any drug.
- Your bit may be chipped and cracked and you must check that before starting working.
- Securely tight the collet with the wrenches which were provided with your router.
- Keep the workpiece and the fence in firm contact.
- Always try to feed the workpiece from right to left.
You already have known different safety rules and tips. So, now what? Is that all? No, you have to obey and implement these rules and safety tips during your work with a router table. Always keep that in your mind that accident or occurrence will never come to you after informing. The best practice is to be serious before happening any of mishap.